Coping Skills

Mental Health Treatment Center in St. Augustine, Florida

Coping skills are habits that develop over time to help people handle high stress or emotional situations. Everyone has some way of dealing with negative or difficult situations. It can be especially helpful for those who struggle with a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression.

However, a person could use unhealthy coping mechanisms that are dangerous to their psychological and physical health. When that happens they are making the situation worse for themselves, family members and loved ones.

Stress or trauma, like the death of a loved one, is closely related to drug abuse and addiction. When someone is exposed to situations that enhance stress, changes are made in the brain that signal the ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction. While this can be a positive thing, as it enhances survival, long term exposure can create the need for escape. For most people this can lead to substance abuse and, ultimately, addiction. 

Coping Mechanisms

By learning healthy coping skills at Dr. Paul’s By The Sea, our patients will be able to manage stressful situations. Establishing good coping mechanisms positively impacts our patient’s physical and psychological well being.  

Learning How to Cope at Dr. Paul’s By The Sea

At Dr. Paul’s By The Sea, we understand how difficult it is to cope with stressful or emotional issues. That is why we teach healthy coping skills through our various therapy treatment programs. 

coping mechanisms

Often substance abuse escalates into addiction because of an inability to manage stress healthily. By teaching coping skills at our St. Augustine treatment center, we can not only improve the mental and emotional health of our patients; we can prevent relapse.

Addicts have a difficult time coping or dealing with high stress or emotional situations. Because of this they often turn back to drugs or alcohol. Teaching our patients effective coping mechanisms will give them the ability to deal with high-stress situations without an addictive substance. By doing this we can prevent relapse in the future. Our highly trained staff uses evidence-based tactics to help our patients train their minds to use positive coping skills. 

While receiving treatment at our St. Augustine rehab, patients who are struggling with addiction can begin using healthy coping strategies when they inevitably experience stress. The first few months of recovery is a time of constant change.

Our patients may find it hard to handle an influx of emotions without turning to drugs or alcohol. Participating in the treatment programs will provide the opportunity to practice healthier coping strategies. 

Coping Strategies that Work

Addiction has been indicated as a behavioral issue and brain disease by medical specialists. It is because of this that professional help is vital. Behavioral therapy can be beneficial to those who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). It teaches them healthy ways to cope with stressful events without using drugs or alcohol.

Through behavioral therapy and other addiction treatment programs, patients are taught the difference between a problem-focused and emotion-focused coping mechanism. Patients will be able to know how they should react to maintain healthy habits. 

Problem-Based Coping

For this type of coping mechanism, a situation or circumstance has been identified that is causing stress. For example, an unhealthy relationship, whether with a partner or a friend, can cause anxiety or depression. The negative way to cope with this situation would be to drink or take medication that helps numb the pain. This is a short term solution that will lead to a long term problem. 

A healthy way of coping in a circumstance like this would be to walk away from the relationship. By doing this, there will be short term pain but eventually an improved mental and physical state of mind will occur. This will ultimately lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle. 

Emotion-Based Coping

Emotion-based coping is when a person either doesn’t want to change their situation or is unable to. Instead, they need to change their emotions from negative to positive. For example, if a divorce was happening in the family then that situation cannot be changed. However the thoughts and feelings about the situation can.

Healthy Vs. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Healthy Coping Skills:

  • Exercise
  • Journal
  • Clean
  • Socialize
  • Yoga
  • Time management
  • Problem solve
  • Ask for help
Coping Mechanisms

Unhealthy Coping Skills to Avoid:

  • Drinking alcohol or using drugs: Drugs and alcohol are a temporary solution to anxious or depressive thoughts. Eventually, substance abuse will lead to new problems such as financial, relationship, or even legal issues.
  • Overeating: Comfort food is a common way to deal with stress or emotional issues. However, overeating can cause severe health problems and weight issues.  Then there is the opposite extreme of not eating enough. Some people feel more in control of a situation if they can control how much they eat (or don’t eat). This creates unhealthy habits and can be dangerous.
  • Sleeping too much: Sleeping is a great way to reset the mind and relieve stress. However, when a person uses sleep to avoid problems they are having, then it becomes an unhealthy way of coping.  
  • Venting to others: Repetitively talking to others about bad situations can make it harder to move on from them. It is more important to gain support and find ways to move on from the unfortunate situation than stay focused on it.
  • Overspending: While “retail therapy” can be helpful, spending too much can be unhealthy. Instead of facing the problem, the person is avoiding it and putting a temporary fix on the issue. Overspending can also cause financial issues, which puts stress on the person. In the end, they have only made the situation worse for themselves.  

Visit our St. Augustine treatment center today to learn more about how Dr. Paul’s By The Sea can help you. Our team is ready to give you the tools you need to overcome addiction. By learning how to use healthy coping strategies, you can change your bad habits and create a better life for yourself and your loved ones.